Electric Dustpan

For my first instructable I figure I should share a recent mod in my garage workshop. Nobody likes a messy work area, and the easier or more entertaining one can make the cleanup process the more likely the area is to remain clean. This will help keep wood shavings, dirt and dust from getting in the way. I remember this from my time in HS shop class years ago and thought it was a cool idea to try in my shop. It's fairly simple concept. have a place to sweep stuff so that it gets sucked up in a vacuum. Nearly every home build work table I see is the basic design, and as long as your table has low set cross braces you can do this as well.

You will need to build a funnel of sorts, two walls that will drive the debris towards the inlet of the vacuum hose at the rear wall. I later discovered that a shallow funnel is better, something perhaps about 3-5inches set back. The first trial wasn't able to do more than suck in dust, and left wood shavings clogging up the inlet.

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    5 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    What are these called corner sweeps? I've seen them before.

    I need to start seriously thinking about dust collection in my workshop. I just got done refinishing a little table and I didn't even sand it all that much, I still got dust everywhere!

    Now I need to open up my bay door and hit the place with a leaf blower. For big piles I have a couple little plastic shovels I use as dustpans with a broom, I need to stop dust at the source though.

    I never wanted to get that involved but I think I'm beyond the realm of shop vacs now. Because I sure don't want to spend half my time trying to get dust off everything either.

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Honestly haven't a clue of their official name. The industrial ones i've seen (only seen one in person and the other two I recall were TV programs ... New Yankee?) All of them were operated by a foot pedal, when pressed lifted a bin door about two feet wide four inches or so, and activated the dust collector. The shopvac variation is bit suzie-homemaker but suits the needs of my work.

    Dust on the floor is minor compared to the dust in the air. I don't personally recommend this, but the shop LP or NG heaters with blowers larger shops have do a fairly good job of burning out the air, wood particles go in but they vaporize into a small amount of smoke giving a woodstove scent. I heard too many stories of grain elevator explosions to purpose-build something as such.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I think most sweeps have regular blast gates on them. Which could be rigged up to be foot activated.

    I don't heat my workshop anymore. I'm not out in it all the time so when I shut the heat off it leads to condensation which rusts metal I have in it. So burning the dust out of my air isn't practical. That and I don't need to heat my workshop most of the year anyways. Especially the time of the year I am in it.

    I don't think the last dust I made would have smelled very woody. It was mainly polyurethane.

    The more I look at these built in dust collection systems the more I hate them. They're so ugly! Make my workshop look like a set for the movie Brazil or something. Not that my workshop looks so swift now, but I still can't see exposed ducts all over the place improving its appearance any.

    I have 3 shop vacs and one is noisier than the next. Plus I don't think any of them are really built to run for an extended period of time.

    When people ask me what I do I reply, I make dust, anything else I happen to produce is just a byproduct of the whole dust making process.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    So, you just sweep the rubbish into a pile, and then hit the vacuum power for a few seconds?

    That's a grand idea.